Skills of Gamers, Microsoft Build Keynote, and Compliance Training: This Week on #BLPLearn


#BLPLearn is our way of saving all of the great content our team curates… and sharing it with the wider community. We’ll take the best articles shared by our Learning Services, Multimedia, and Product Development teams in their weekly meetings and include them in the weekly #BLPLearn blog. We’ll usually include some commentary from the original team member who found the article, too.

Our goal is to make the weekly #BLPLearn blog a dependable source for quality, curated L&D content. Check back every Thursday.


Rather than restricting the social media conversation to a 30 minute window, we’re inviting everyone inside and outside BLP to share interesting links, thoughts, and articles with the #BLPLearn hashtag on Twitter. We’ll check the feed once a week and include the best articles submitted via Twitter in the post, too.


Now that introductions are out of the way, let’s dive in to this week’s articles:

Are Actual Players Less Skilled than 20 Years Ago?
Submitted by Brandon Penticuff, Technology Director 

It’s clear that “gaming” has its own language. There’s something very fundamental and real about the symbols, phrases, and shared expectations within gaming culture. I was excited recently to introduce my ten-year-old son to the Halo game franchise, a game that I enjoyed quiet a bit and thought he would too given his interest in similar, more modern games such as Titanfall.

While he had some fun with it, he was pretty frustrated in the single-player game because he frequently got stuck and didn’t know where he was supposed to go next. Watching him play, I was immediately aware of the changes (advances?) in game-design and that players hardly ever get “stuck” or “lost” on what to do next. In newer games, a mini-map shows your next objective, not just your enemies (like in Halo), so you know where to go and aren’t left to explore or “figure it out.” My son hadn’t been challenged in the more modern games in this way, and at least at first glance, he did not enjoy it.

That means game design has gotten better, right? Is this a good thing? Well, consider this article talking about if actual game playing skill has lessened over the last 20 years…

Are Actual Players Less Skilled than 20 Years Ago?

Here are some discussion points:

  • Do you agree there has been an actual drop in overall gaming skill, or is this just a perception?
  • If yes, is this more because of the rapid growth of the gaming market (smartphone casuals), or because game design has become so focused on a guided experience that trial/error exploration of controls and objectives has been lost, leading to lower actual skill?
  • Is this good? Bad? Or are you indifferent?
  • While I’ve not highlighted it above, I think the implication on learning games is obvious and something we’ve already discussed before. When is it good to challenge and risk frustrating learners vs. making it too easy so that they just go through the motions? Its probably also worth admitting that it may be less profitable for us to make what we think is a “better” product vs what the audience thinks they want.

Microsoft Build Keynote
Submitted by Brandon Penticuff, Technology Director

Billed as Microsoft’s “most important event of the year” by some, the Microsoft Build conference kicked off yesterday with a three-hour keynote highlighting the vision for the year, which includes the release of Windows 10, the replacement for Internet Explorer, and the most advanced AR design yet with the HoloLens.

I’m including a video for us all to watch that condenses this keynote into nine minutes. While the coolest tech is definitely at the end (HoloLens), there are some pretty interesting things for us to be aware of through-out.

Watch Microsoft’s Three-hour Build Keynote in Just Nine Minutes

Compliance is not the Same as Learning 
Submitted by Erika Bartlett, Learning Designer

I came across an interesting article by Clive Shepherd about compliance training.

Let’s Face it, Compliance is not the Same as Learning

The point I liked the most about this article was that when he’s taking a compliance course and he knows that it is absolutely necessary for him to pass it, the content of the course takes a back seat to simply getting through the course (or passing a test). Even if the content is engaging, the focus of the course becomes the test.

That brought me back to some compliance training I’ve gone through in the past. A few years ago, my husband and I had to pass a boating exam for the state of Michigan so we could legally drive wave runners and boats while on vacation. The course was tedious and took hours and hours to get through. I’m sure there was a lot of great information, but we simply took the final test over and over again until we passed and promptly forgot pretty much everything.

Do you recall compliance training you’ve taken in the past? Have you had a similar experience? What are your thoughts on how we can make this type of training better? What has BLP done with this sort of training in the past?